One simple question from the customer made me wonder and provided an opportunity to write this post.
It was when they were browsing a set of chopsticks and then asked me,
"Why these 2 chopsticks of the set are different length?".
I felt hit by this and was shocked that I had been handling these items without introducing the culture unique to Japan until then.
What has supported me through this difficult time was "Sado", Japanese tea ceremony. During the lockdown, many things were shifted to online in various ways such as remote work, online learning, online exercise sessions etc...and I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to continue learning Japanese tea ceremony online in a different way. Not every tools and utensils are available at home, however, not to mention tea room.
Thus I have learnt the spirit of "Mitate".
Another year is coming to an end soon. In Singapore where most of the people celebrate Lunar New Year, it may sound a little bit away, but is there any annual tradition, family event, special customs before getting a new year started?
It got the life back!
What a shocking incident when your favourite ceramic break, get crack or chipped. It happens a lot to the careless person like me. It's like "not again!".
The painful appearance made me feel down and I put them away somewhere I didn't see or even threw away some of them that broke into pieces. I did know that there's a way to repair broken ceramics, but now that I'm living in Singapore, it's not easy to find the right place to have them fixed.
It's been almost a year since I started learning Japanese tea ceremony here in Singapore. Every time after the lesson, I've realised how much I had led things by without caring about what was happening close to me in my everyday life. In today's world that is changing with dizzying speed, if I at odd times pause for a moment with my five senses, renew my awareness of connecting to nature and being alive. That is what Japanese tea ceremony reminded me first.
Today many kinds of Japanese design not only on Kimono but also T-shirt or some small items like box or purse you can find. Those patterns are Japanese traditional design called "Wagara" that has been used for Kimono and furnishing goods for centuries. Did you know each pattern and design have the meaning?
The tradition that people have been continuing to carry the torch, craftsmanship that have been handed down for centuries, splendid culture of making things that have been cherished since ancient times...
Even if the genre is different, you'll be surprised at how many such beautiful treasures as well as Japanese Urushi lacquerware you can discover in our daily life.